Presbyopia: Why is it hard to see up close?

Presbyopia:  Why is it hard to see up close?

Almost every day when I am doing eye exams at my clinic in Winnipeg, I will have a patient that comes in with concerns that they are having trouble seeing up close.   They say that they have noticed that over the past few months they have noticed that it is harder to read a menu or their phone.

During the eye exam I will look at what their vision is and measure their ability to accommodate.   Accommodation is the medical term used by eye doctors to describe someone’s autofocus ability.

The loss of autofocus ability is a natural change that happens throughout our life.  When we are young we have autofocus such that you can focus very close to your face and every day of our life we lose a little bit of autofocus every day of our life and usually when we reach the age of late 30’s or early 40’s, our point of closest focus reaches the distance that we normally hold reading material.

This is a normal aging change and unfortunately there are not any ways that we have to reduce it from occurring.   The great news is that when you come in for an eye exam we can talk about options like glasses and contact lenses that can help you see clearly again.

Michael D. Nelson, OD FAAO